Steelers fans should be genuinely fearful of a Matt Canada return in 2023
With the Pittsburgh Steelers winning football games and Kenny Pickett improving, fans should be worried about Matt Canada returning as OC in 2023.
Entering Pittsburgh’s Week 9 bye, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that Matt Canada was going to be looking for work in 2023. Now it pains me to say that I’m not so sure. This scares me, but there’s plenty of reason to believe that the Pittsburgh Steelers could keep their disappointing offensive coordinator for at least one more season.
I don’t think that this is what anyone wants, and fans know that he should be replaced following the 2022 season, but here’s why we should be genuinely fearful about a Matt Canada return for the 2023 season.
The Steelers offense has improved since the bye week
There’s no question that Pittsburgh’s offense has shown improvement since their Week 9 bye. While some would chalk this up to playing unspectacular opponents like the Saints and Falcons, the reasoning may not matter if things are going well for the Steelers.
After scoring just 14.1 offensive points per game before the bye week, per ESPN (which ranked at the bottom of the league), Pittsburgh’s offense has at least emerged to average at this point — which is a pretty big improvement. While I don’t credit Canada for this success, a late-season surge may be just what he needs to save his job for one more year.
Kenny Pickett is trending up
Perhaps the biggest factor in a potential Matt Canada return is the emergence of Kenny Pickett. After struggling mightily earlier in the year when he was thrown into the fire, Pickett has made some of the strides that the team was hoping to see from him, and it has helped generate better results for this team since the break.
Whether it’s by Canada’s doing or not, if Pickett continues to progress, it’s easy to see why Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan could consider bringing him back for one more season. The Steelers typically love continuity with their coaching staff and they may not want to force Pickett to start over with a second OC in just his second NFL season in 2023.
Matt Canada is under contract
If the first two reasons weren’t enough for the Pittsburgh Steelers to consider Canada for another year, this one might just be the icing on the cake. Unfortunately, the underwhelming offensive coordinator is still under contract for one more season. While I agree that this shouldn’t matter if you are serious about improving your offense and bringing in a more creative mind, the Steelers may be just content enough to factor in Canada’s contract when deciding his fate.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the vast majority of the Pittsburgh Steelers fanbase wants Matt Canada fired following the 2022 season. However, it’s starting to seem much more likely that he is able to hang onto his job for one more year in 2023.